The mother and step-mother of 'Slumdog Millionaire' child star Rubina Ali had a Mumbai street showdown over claims the little girl had been put up for sale, it emerged today.
The pair clashed in public after nine-year-old Rubina’s father Rafique Qureshi was accused of being willing to let her go for adoption in exchange for £200,000 (€225,000).
Rubina, who played the child version of the film’s romantic lead Latika, still lives in a one-room slum beside a rail track in north Mumbai.
Qureshi’s ex-wife Khurshid Begum made an official complaint to Mumbai police after the deal was exposed in Britain’s News of the World.
But not satisfied with the response she went to the Gharib Nagar slums and got into a confrontation with stepmother Munni, according to the Mumbai Mirror.
A police officer said, “They are fighting over the girl now that she has turned into a goose that lays golden eggs. Everybody wants a share of the pie. Khurshid had come to us seeking custody of the girl even when the film first made headlines. But the girl says she wants to live with her father.”
PI Prakash Salunkhe of Nirmal Nagar police said, “We recorded statements and will investigate allegations of illegal adoption. No complaint has been lodged.”
Rafique denies trying to sell the girl. “It is a conspiracy to take my girl from me. My former wife Khurshid is involved,” he said.